A.W. written by Tony Bayliss
I always find such pleasure in singing this A.W. song written by Tony Bayliss. The imagery of the Lake District and the atmosphere of Wainwright himself being there unfolds each time I sing this. I applaud Tony Bayliss for creating this song about AW and therefore maintaining AW’s legacy and I hope that people will sing this and have the same pleasure, I, and I am sure many other people will as well, thank you Tony. Martyn.
Why am I doing this? Why am I here? How often have I heard hill walkers ask these questions on a challenging day in the Lakeland Fells.The answer, of course is Alfred Wainwright (A.W.) who created an unrivalled bond with the Lake District which he was prepared to share with everyone.This is my homage to him. Tony Bayliss
A.W by Tony Bayliss.
I stood upon Helvellyn for to contemplate the day
The Pennines in the distance, Solway Firth to Morecambe Bay
I gazed down on grizzled Striding Edge,where I’d clung on in fear
And in answer to my question,it was Wainwright brought me here.
Born and raised in Blackburn little schooling he had known
But walking in the Lakes and Fells a lifetime seed was sown
He left factories and mills behind, to Westmoreland he came
With his writing and his drawings,’twas how Wainwright made his name.
In solitude he rambled,never needing company
Just the silence of the valley or the crunch of boots on scree
The murmur of the mountain stream,the roaring of the force
Such was the conversation and from Wainwright no remorse.
Westmoreland or Cumberland some say what’s in a name
Both now go by Cumbria, the hills remain the same
And as you struggle onwards Coast to Coast or view to view
Chances are it was A.W. who planned your route for you.
When you’ve had that hard days walking and you’ve got down from the Fell
You’re studying that O.S.map and you’ve got a tale to tell
That tarn,those cairns or coppermines,that stile or drystone wall
It’s from his guide you realise that Wainwight knew them all.
Through driving rain or drizzle,biting wind or fine the day
Though he now rests on Haystacks, he’ll be with you all the way
Blencathra,Gable, Scafell Pike, Stickle Tarn or Dodd
You’ll hear his measured footsteps in those gravelled paths you’ve trod.
When you’ve scrambled up that Gully and you’ve crossed that raging Ghyll
You’ve got up through the mist and cloud and you’re resting on that hill
Through all that pain and effort,you may think you were alone
But with Wainwrights’ ghost beside you,you were never on your own.
Repeat first line of verse.